Must-Have Tests For Men
(BlackDoctor.org) — It is quite common for men to ignore physical symptoms and health problems — taking a huge gamble with their lives. Research finds that men are 24 percent less likely than women to have visited their doctor. In addition, men are about 30 percent more likely than women to be hospitalized for preventable conditions such as congestive heart failure and complications from diabetes.
Men are so good at taking care of their cars—tell them to think of their bodies in the same way. The body is a machine that needs to be taken care of and checked at regular intervals to keep it running well. In an effort to raise awareness among men about the importance of preventive medical testing, it’s very important for them to know which tests they need, when they should get them and how to get your guy to go to the doc.
When to get it: Annually beginning in his 30s
Why it counts: This is the most important piece of data available because it clearly shows if there is something affecting the arteries. Ideal goal: 115/75 or less.
Cholesterol and Triglycerides Blood Test (including LDL/HDL cholesterol ratio and triglycerides/HDL ratio)
When to get it: Every 5 years up to age 45, then annually
Why it counts: The triglyceride/HDL ratio warns of not only potential cardiovascular disease but also potential liver disease.
C-reactive Protein (CRP) Blood Test
When to get it: Consider starting in his 40s
Why it counts: If he has heart disease risk factors, a CRP test, which measures inflammation, may be useful. Some experts recommend that everyone get this test annually because it can give your doc a warning about heart, prostate or liver problems.
Thyroid Function Blood Test
When to get it: Baseline at about age 20, then every 5 years until age 60, then annually
Why it counts: Low thyroid function can lead to a variety of conditions, including constipation, depression and high cholesterol.
When to get it: Beginning at age 40, then every 5 to 10 years after that if everything looks normal (earlier or frequent screenings may be recommended for those with a family history of colorectal cancer)
Why it counts: Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths among men.
Prostate-Specific Antigen Blood Test
When to get it: Baseline at age 40, follow-ups at age 50 and then annually for 15 years.
Why it counts: PSA tests are currently in the crossfire between major advocacy organizations. Talk to your doc about what works best for you.
Digital Rectal Exam (DRE)
When to get it: Annually starting at age 40
Why it counts: The DRE is less effective than PSA blood tests at finding prostate cancer, but it sometimes finds the disease in men with normal PSA levels.